The Balcony Las Olas Rolls Out All New Menu Items

Posted By : denise/ 5

Hello Foodie Friends,

My Assistant Marti & I were invited to The Balcony, a vibrant New Orleans-Inspired restaurant on Las Olas Blvd which opened approximately 8 months ago to check out their new menu which recently launched and now features even more dynamic dishes including some American favorites and tapas for sharing. To celebrate the launch of their new menu, The Balcony is offering a buy one entrée, get one 50% off special on Monday, March 25–Thursday, March 28 from 4–7 p.m.

Our server Myana (pronounced like Bryanna), was super nice and very knowledgeable about the menu items. The cocktail list was quite extensive and loaded with lots of interesting concoctions. Marti had the Sazerac which was made with Angel’s Envy Bourbon, Pernod Absinthe, Peychaud’s Bitters & Lemon ($15) I opted for the Pink Pearl which was made with Stoli Elit Vodka, Disaronno, Fresh Strawberries & Lime ($15). They were both excellent. Off to a great start. Then GM John and Chef Simon came over to welcome us and let us know that they would be sending out a variety of items for us to try and informed us if there was anything else we saw on the menu that we wanted to try, we were welcome. We were in for a treat for sure!

First out was the gumbo soup. This soup hit all the right notes and flavor profiles for me. It was a great surprise since I had never been one to fancy gumbo before. The warm crusty bread was a nice compliment as well. Great job, Chef! Next up was the Natchitoches Beef Pies (beef empanadas). Natchitoches is a city in Louisiana that is famous for making these little pillows of heaven. They were packed with flavor and I enjoyed the garlic dipping sauce it came with. The other sauce, we were given advance warning, was hot so I stuck to the garlic one. The crab cakes were not only adorable but very tasty. The perfect shareable dish. Chef sent out their signature salad, the Mardi Gras Peach & Berry. What a gorgeous salad; it just popped with color. Chef Simon explained to us that he pickles and poaches the peaches in the peak of season so that he is able to use them year round. We both really liked the freshness of each component of the salad. Our next tasting was the Baton Rouge Beef Sliders and the Shrimp Po Boy. The beef sliders were topped with housemade bacon jam, abita beer cheese, caramelized onion and pickled serrano (I actually didn’t know there was a serrano pepper in there, so if you’re a wimp like me in the spice/heat department, don’t worry). This burger was THE BOMB!!! I am love with it for sure. The Shrimp Po Boy, on the other hand, lacked a little flavor for me and out of all the dishes we tried, was my least favorite. But not to worry, we got right back on track again with the Lobster Bisque made with cognac cream. It was heavenly and I would highly recommend this dish. It ranks up there as one of my favorite lobster bisques of all times. Marti had never tried fried green tomatoes before and I’m a fan when done right and boy did these deliver in the flavor department. They too, raised the bar on which all fried green tomatoes will forever be judged. OK, I’m sure by now you’re wondering how in the world we could still fit anything into our bellies, right?!? Well, we couldn’t resist at least trying a beignet. When you think of beignets, most undoubtedly the famous place in New Orleans, you know the one comes to mind. After popping one of these lovelies in my mouth, I just closed my eyes and within seconds, I began to feel as if I had been transported to New Orleans. These beignets were served with 3 unique dipping sauces; berry jam, spiced chocolate and orange marmalade. 

 

Besides the Lobster Bisque, other new menu items include Vegetable Dumplings, Braised Meatballs, Chicken Cobb Salad, Oyster Po’Boy and more.

“This new and diverse menu offers something for everyone!” said Kim Bokamper, former Miami Dolphins player and partner in PDKN Restaurant Group, which owns The Balcony. “Boasting the savory tastes of New Orleans along with American favorites, the menu merges a variety of appetizing flavors within many unique dishes.”

Both the lunch and dinner menus offer the following new dishes:

Tapas: Vegetable Dumplings with sweet serrano chili sauce ($12), Coconut Crusted Shrimp with sweet mango serrano sauce ($15), and Braised Meatballs with house made tomato sauce ($13).

Soup: Lobster Bisque with cognac cream ($7 on lunch menu; $8 on dinner menu)

Salad: Chicken Cobb with avocado, Applewood smoked bacon, Point Reyes blue cheese, egg, heirloom tomato, romaine lettuce, and creamy Cajun dressing ($14 on lunch menu; $16 on dinner menu); Seared Ahi Tuna with heirloom tomato, cucumber, arugula, and lime dressing ($16 on lunch menu; $18 on dinner menu).

Hand Helds: Oyster Po’Boy with heirloom tomato, lettuce, Meyer lemon remoulade, and fries ($15 on lunch menu; $16 on dinner menu); The Burger with lettuce, tomato, onion and fries ($1 add cheese, $2 add Applewood smoked bacon) ($12 on lunch menu; $14 on dinner menu).

SidesMash ‘n’ Collards with Applewood smoked bacon, mashed potato, and collard greens ($7); Fries with moonshine ketchup ($5); Mashed Potatoes with cream and butter ($6); and Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with pecan maple glaze ($7).

The following new dishes are available only on the dinner menu:

Main PlatesHalf Roast Chicken with red beans and rice ($19); Shrimp ‘n’ Grits with Carolina BBQ shrimp and cheese grits ($26); 8 oz. Filet Mignon with Mash ‘n’ Collards, crispy onions and Madeira sauce ($32); 14 oz. Prime New York Strip with sautéed mushrooms and fries ($38); Grilled Salmon with corto poached potatoes, sautéed Brussels sprouts, and Meyer lemon herb butter ($28); Grilled Ahi Tuna with glass noodles, stir fry vegetables, and sesame seeds ($36); and Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass with corto poached potatoes and Sicilian ragout ($39).

SideGlazed Sweet Potatoes with toasted pecans and marshmallow ($7).

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Some noteworthy mentions: Sunday Jazz Brunch, “Sip, Tipple, Savor” Happy Hour (1/2 off drinks and bar bites, M-F 4-7pm), Tableside Crepes Suzette and Bananas Foster every day after 4pm.

Daily Specials:

Mon (all day) 50% off signature cocktails, Kids Eat Free

Tue (all day) $6 Burgers, $3 Beers: Corona/Light, Heineken/Light, $5 Dixie Vodka Cocktails

Wed HUMP DAY ALL DAY HAPPY HOUR 50% OFF DRINKS & BAR BITES, $5 HUMPSTER HURRICANES, 50% OFF BOTTLES OF WINE (bottles $100 & under), $9.99 SHRIMP PO’BOY & DRAFT BEER

Thu (7pm – close) Ladies Night: FREE Tito’s Vodka Cocktails, FREE Bubbles – Live Music – DJ

Fri (2 – 5pm) Ditch Friday: $3 Abita Draft Beer, $4 House Wines, $5 Tito’s Vodka Cocktails & Martinis, Happy Hour: ($4 – 7pm Half off Drinks & Bar Bites

There’s actually more, so to get a complete list or for more information about The Balcony and its new menu, visit www.thebalconylasolas.com or call (754) 200-6344.

ABOUT THE BALCONY

The Balcony, a PDKN Restaurant Group concept, offers a New Orleans-inspired restaurant with a twist. Located on trendy Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, this two-story restaurant features the dynamic tastes of New Orleans, which blends French, Spanish, West African, Amerindian, German, Italian, Irish and Vietnamese ingredients. Guests enjoy New Orleans-style small plates, craft cocktails and live music. The Balcony is owned by former Miami Dolphins player Kim Bokamper and his three partners, who also own Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill, with locations in Fort Lauderdale, Miramar, Plantation, Naples, and Estero. The Balcony is located at 1309 E. Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale FL 33301. The restaurant is open Monday-Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Thursday-Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. For more information, visitwww.thebalconylasolas.com or call (754) 200-6344.

ABOUT PDKN RESTAURANT GROUP

PDKN Restaurant Group was founded by former Miami Dolphins player Kim Bokamper and his three partners, P.J. Kavanagh, Damon DeSantis and Noel Cullen, in 2008. Following Bokamper’s successful sports and broadcasting career, he was approached by current partner Kavanagh about furthering his brand through a restaurant. The first Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill was founded in 2008 in Plantation, Florida. Today, the group owns five Bokamper’s restaurants locations in Florida: Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Miramar, Naples, and Estero ― all dedicated to providing exceptional service, great food, and an unparalleled atmosphere for friends, families and sports fans of all ages. PDKN Restaurant Group also owns and operates The Balcony, a New Orleans-inspired restaurant on Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard and Bo’s Beach, featuring fresh seafood and stunning ocean views on Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

 

 

A Fish Called Avalon

Posted By : denise/ 194

Hello Foodie Friends,

As a second generation native South Floridian, born and raised in Miami, I have seen a huge transformation in Miami, and in particular, Miami Beach. When we were young, I fondly remember riding on the long stretch of road that connected the main land to the beach; this was an indication that we were getting close to Great Grandmother’s.My Great Grandparents (Bessie & Frank) were direct descendants from Russia, a cute couple, each standing about 5′ tall. I don’t remember Frank too much as he died before Bessie, but my Great Grandma lived until the ripe ol’ age of 106. (She received two letters from the President of the time congratulating her on making it to a 100 years!) Back in that time, Collins Ave/Ocean Drive was lined with condos occupied by the senior community. You would find many of them just hanging out in rocking chairs on the front porches. That was until the developers stepped in and the gentrification process officially took off. Today, the landscape is one of youth and vibrancy. The hip, chic place with plenty of nightlife to keep you busy until the wee hours.

I received an email inviting me come taste A Fish Called Avalon, Located in the iconic Avalon Hotel on Ocean Drive, the setting offers an authentic, sophisticated South Beach experience. Many locals tend to have an impression that dining out in South Beach is for tourists, but I’m here to dispel that belief right here and now, at least when it comes to A Fish Called Avalon.  Now in it’s 30th year, this marks quite a milestone in the restaurant world. Fun fact: this time-tested landmark had been the back drop for the 1983 film, Scarface.

TIME-HONORED SEAFOOD TRADITION IN MIAMI BEACH

A Fish Called Avalon is a legend in South Beach. For nearly 30 years, they have been serving up the freshest seafood and delivering an exceptional dining experience to all who partake. The superb cuisine, relaxed Ocean Drive setting, and impeccable service have been delighting diners for nearly three decades.

Garnering attention for its superb seafood cuisine, impeccable hospitality and intimate setting, the restaurant is a favorite with locals and visitors alike.

Chef Kal & A Fish Called Avalon offer a seafood-dominated menu with tropical influences using the very best local and seasonal ingredients delivered daily.  Each item shines with a variety of unique presentation and flavors.

Chef prepared a wonderful selection of tastings for my Product Development Manager, Annette and I to taste. We sat on the lovely terrace and it was a beautiful night. Annette and I enjoyed every morsel. Our taste buds were literally (well ok, figuratively) jumping up and down in joy! While I really liked everything that was placed in front of us, I thought the Bang Bang Shrimp were very unique here and were a definite stand out for me. The Macadamia Nut crusted snapper was another nice surprise for me. I am a huge fan of octopus when cooked right and Chef did an outstanding job with this as well. The presentation on the paella was top notch and packed full of fruits from the sea.

Great people-watching spot!
“Over the Top Candy Crafted Cocktail- The Lollipop Mojito” Travel Channel
Sampler of grilled octopus, Bang Bang Shrimp and Diver Scallop
Crab crusted grouper
Sea Salt Crusted Branzino
Spinach risotto
Seafood paella made with orzo
Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée made with Pistachio Maple Syrup Tuile, Fresh Berries

 

Tempting appetizers like the Bang Bang Shrimp and Orzo Seafood Paella for a main course are perfect for a romantic date night to evoke Mediterranean memories. The menu also offers prime and dry-aged steaks, organic chicken, and vegetarian-friendly options each with a perfect complement from the extensive award-winning wine list. Delectable desserts end the evening on a sweet note.

A Fish Called Avalon Accolades

Top 10 Best Restaurants and Best Outdoor Dining Winner in South Florida by OpenTable reviewers.

Ranked 30 of 787 Restaurants in Miami Beach TripAdvisor

A Fish Called Avalon is perfect for romantic dinners, a family affair, or a night out on the town. I can’t wait to go back and hope that I have inspired you to want to check it out as well. Pro tip: Diners can park in the parking garage conveniently located at the corner of 7th and Collins.

For more info on the restaurant, please click here to visit their website:

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

“Fall” in Love All Over Again at Harvest Seasonal Grill

Posted By : denise/ 287

Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar Debuts Festive New Fall Menu
New Additions Include Vegan/Vegetarian, Gluten Free Farm-To-Table Dishes

Hello Foodie Friends,

Today’s blog is about my recent dinner at Harvest Seasonal Grill. I was invited to check out their new Fall menu so I could share my experience with all of you. My last two posts on Harvest both featured previous Spring menus. The Fall menu was released the end of September and will run through the holidays at which time the new Winter menu will be launched.

My companion and I were shown to our table and soon greeted by our server Jake, who ran through the menu layout with us. My companion had some questions on the wines. Jake was very knowledgeable about the wines on the menu and exceptionally helpful in his explanations..I always enjoy Harvest’s seasonal sangria flights so that is what I decided to begin with. My companion opted for a Cab Franc blend called Involuntary Commitment from Napa Valley. Harvest has a large number of wine varietals that you don’t see on other restaurant menus.

My Sangria Flight consisted of: White Caramel Apple, Rosé Ginger Pear, and Red Blood Orange Pomegranate. The Rosé sangrias have been my favorite in the past, but this time, the Red Blood Orange Pomegranate got my vote for top pick. Now onto the food tastings. Chef Bill came out to say hello and after a brief discussion, he offered to send out a few dishes for us to try. We started off with the Pear & Bleu flatbread. (Spoiler alert: this was my favorite item of the entire evening). The flatbread was PACKED with flavor and they were very generous with their toppings which were well distributed.

 Next out were the Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash Dip and Tuna Poke.

 

Next round were the Diver Scallops, Grilled Filet Mignon, Pumpkin Tortellini and side of roasted seasonal vegetables

There definitely was a butternut squash theme going on with our selections on this evening. So if you’re a butternut squash lover, be sure to head over to Harvest Seasonal Grill right now to get your fill of butternut squash!

For dessert, we were presented with their minis:one was a Spiced Apple, one was Pecan something and one was a Key lime cheesecake. In all honesty, I did not have room to taste any of the desserts, but my companion did and said the Spiced Apple had an abundance of cayenne in it and the Pecan one was a bit hard and the Key Lime tasted mostly like vanilla frosting. I guess the desserts must have been off on this day, because this is quite unusual to have a miss on 3 out of 3. I have always enjoyed their desserts in the past and won’t let this one “off day” ruin my coming in again and giving them a try.

 

WHO: Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, Delray Beach’s season-forward, farm-to-table eatery and wine bar owned by the Dave Magrogan Group, announces their new fall menu featuring an assortment of seasonal dishes, refreshing cocktails and over 50 wines available by the glass now available through the fall season.

WHAT:  As the season’s change, you can always look forward to a bountiful new menu at Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar. The fall menu features dishes that use local, seasonal ingredients resulting in the freshest, tastiest, most nutritious meals possible in a celebration of autumnal produce.

Enjoy flavorful new flatbreads, salads, entrees and more – with plenty of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options available. Fall menu highlights include:

  • Pear & Bleu Flatbread pear, aged bleu cheese, fig glaze, micro arugula ($10)
  • Butternut Squash Soup toasted pumpkin seed, local honey ($5)
  • Grilled Autumn Salmon baby spinach, roasted beet, sheep’s milk feta, dried cranberry, candied pecan, apple schnitz, honeycrisp apple vinaigrette ($19)
  • Harvest Moon Chicken all-natural chicken breast, sweet potato latke, brussels sprouts, apple relish, cider rosemary reduction ($24)
  • Braised Short Ribs parsnip, turnip, carrot, mushroom, rosemary, black lava salt, pearl onion, roasted garlic mashed potato, natural jus ($26)
  • Vegetarian Pumpkin Tortelloni butternut squash purée, sage brown butter, dried cranberry, baby spinach, toasted pumpkin seed, gingerbread dust ($20)
  • Vegetarian Impossible “Meatloaf” whipped sweet potato, haricot vert, truffled mushroom, sweet & spicy ketchup glaze, blistered tomato, crispy beet ($24)
  • Vegan Eggplant “Parmesan” butternut squash noodle, fire-roasted tomato sauce, herbed breadcrumb, nutritional yeast ($19)
WHEN: Available through the fall season
WHERE: Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar: Delray Place, 1841 S. Federal Hwy. #402, Delray Beach, FL 33483.
(561) 266-3239
Until we eat again…
   I send you delicious wishes, xo
Denise

Staycation Alert: South Beach for $20/night…are you kidding?!?!

Posted By : denise/ 283

Hello Foodie Friends,

Today’s post is a two-for, featuring both a wonderful new hostel/boutique hotel and restaurant we were introduced to right in the heart of South Beach. Founded in 2011, Generator, a London-based brand known for their trendy design-forward European Hostels that feel more like boutique hotels, has just opened its first US location in Miami Beach this past August on famed Collins Ave, just one block from the beach. Generator, remodelled from a 1940’s condo building, offers 300 beds in 105 rooms. One of the unique things about this hostel is that in addition to the traditional shared rooms (which start at $20 per bed per night), is the addition of private rooms that start at just $95/night. Generator is not the hostel you might have stayed at while travelling around Europe (probably in your early twenties). They have pulled out all the stops to create a sense of community, incorporating such amenities as an inviting pool, 2 on-site restaurants, beautifully designed shared and private rooms and several really unique common spaces for guests to interact with one another or just take in the serene environment that’s been created for the solo traveler to enjoy on their own – not to mention the awesome location, right in the heart of South Beach. Several activities are being offered at Generator including yoga, mixology demonstrations, movies, a pool table, DJs and more planned.

 

I was invited by Desirey, the Event Sales Manager and my lovely host for the afternoon who arranged a tour of the hostel/hotel and a lovely lunch for us at Driftway, one of the two restaurants found on the property. As we made our way past the pool heading towards Driftway, I couldn’t help but notice this amazing mural painted on the side of the building. It had been painted by South African artist Chris Aurett. The food & beverage operations are being overseen by Gui Jaroschy, whose impressive resume includes opening the Broken Shaker in Miami Beach as well as several other locations in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York; managing the Anderson in Miami’s Upper Eastside; and consulting on cocktail menus for Ricochet Lounge, Drunken Dragon and British Airways.

Alex, our Driftway guy let me sample all four of their frozen drinks; the Suze and Coke, OMFG Margarita, Bird of Paradise and the Friesling. I enjoyed them all, but my favorite was the Bird of Paradise which was made with Beefeater Dry Gin, Chinola Passionfruit Liqueur, Martini Bitter and J Wray Rum, allspice and cubeb pepper.

I am a huge fan of Mexican style street corn and this one did not disappoint with the spicy mayo, Mexican cheese and cilantro
The West coast Kushi oysters were sweet!!!
Kale Salad: with lemon dressing, sherry trumpet mushrooms and spiced pecans. A beautiful medley of flavors and healthy to boot!
Organic Quinoa Bowl: Market veggies, salsa verde, micro herb salad. Another creative, tasty, healthy and satisfying dish that won’t wreck havoc on your waist.

 

The food and frozen drinks were amazing, as was the ambience and the company. I am looking forward to planning my next Staycation right there at my new favorite place on South Beach.

If you are planning a trip to Miami Beach and are looking for things to do in the area, you might want to consider booking a Savor Our City tour. Private tours are offered for a minimum of 2 guests and groups of up to 50 people. Choose from South Beach, Wynwood, Little Havana, Miami Springs, Doral and Brickell. For more info on tours, contact Savor Our City.

Generator Miami is located at 3120 Collins Ave. Miami Beach 786 496 5730

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

The Winemakers Table Revisited

Posted By : denise/ 232

Hello Foodie Friends,

It was earlier this year that I first visited The Winemakers Table in Delray Beach to celebrate my birthday. I had a most wonderful evening which you can read about here if you’d like. Fast forward to present day, I received an invite to attend an exclusive media dinner to introduce Jessica Scialletti, the new owner of the Winemakers Table. The evening began with a lovely welcome reception with some delicious sparkling wine and appetizers in the Champagne Lounge. Once all the guests arrived, we made our way to the intimate dining room where we continued with our elegant 5 course International Tasting experience. A tantalizing menu was well thought out, prepared and executed by Jessica and her team. Amongst the newcomers to The Winemakers Table is Executive Chef, Joshua Bradley, who previously worked at Market 17 and Café Maxx in Fort Lauderdale. In addition, The Winemakers Table brought on a new Sous-Chef, Patrick Sauveur from France, who previously worked in Marseille at a Michelin-rated restaurant.

In addition to the new staff, other changes that have been implemented under the new ownership is a new kind of food style they classify as Creative European, allowing their chefs to add their own flare to the European cuisine that is served there nightly. The restaurant keeps a collection of California wines and is bringing more wines from Europe and around the world

.

I have to say that each course was absolutely wonderful. Special honourable mention goes to the watermelon salad with dark cherry balsamic, herb pesto, tomato confit and carrot & orange foam. I fell head over heels in love with their cherry balsamic and became so inspired that I attempted to recreate this in my home. I found a recipe online and improvised using gourmet Amareno cherries from my favorite gourmet market and aged balsamic from The Ancient Olive which I reduced and drizzled over watermelon and also used on top of a pan seared duck breast that I made.

We were in for a really special treat when it came time for dessert; Jessica, the owner introduced a few special desserts from her own Swiss Brand: JesS Art Gâteaux made with European products. The new The Winemakers Table is doing a wonderful job at making guests feel welcome, pampered and fully satisfied. The restaurant serves only Prime meats and the freshest of ingredients. Positive responses are pouring in describing the restaurant as a gem with an ambience that is elegant yet relaxed, with delicious food, wine and attentive service. Monthly themed wine dinners are planned. For more information, check out their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.  

I know you are going to fall in love with the warm and friendly staff and the exquisitely prepared food as much as I have. When you do go, be sure to tell Jessica, Fernando and Chef Joshua hello from Denise from Savor Our City!

The Winemakers Table is open Tues – Sat 5pm – 11pm.  They are located at 2875 S.Congress Ave “A”  Delray Beach, Florida. Reservations: 561-501-4107

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

The Venu Restaurant and Bar

Posted By : denise/ 168

Hello Foodie Friends,

I feel like another confessional coming on: Forgive me for its been way too long since my last post. Life just has a habit of sometimes getting in the way of keeping my writings as current as I’d like them to be. But I promise, as always, to deliver you our latest Food Finds (new restaurant openings, menu updates, food & wine festivals, charity galas, product reviews and recipes, and destination travel).

Today’s post is on The Venu (www.TheLocalVenu.com), an upscale and intimate restaurant, bar & entertainment destination that recently opened in Boynton Beach, FL. Open daily from 11am – 3am, offering lunch, brunch (Sundays 11am – 3pm) Happy Hour starting at 4pm and dinner featuring live music throughout the week and every weekend. You can find a complete schedule of all their shows and ticket info on their website and facebook pages. The Venu is outfitted with a 200″ projector screen and a 22′ X 20′ stage and showroom, along with a state-of-the-art sound and light system. Expect to see talent from all over the world playing on this stage, representing every genre from funk and soul to rock, reggae, DJs, comedy, Broadway acts and more.

The Venu has brought on Executive Chef Kelley Randall (previously head chef at Vic & Angelo’s and The Office in Delray Beach) to run the kitchen. He is a highly regarded and well-known master of inspired farm-fresh cuisine who incorporates locally sourced ingredients to create imaginative menus for lunch, brunch dinner and showtime.  All pastas and desserts are crafted in-house daily and all dishes are prepared from the scratch kitchen. Chef Kelley’s take on Italian and modern European fare is highlighted by such signature dishes as the Wild Boar Pappardelle, Frutti Di Mare, Coq Au Vin, 1855 Ranch Ribeye, Stuffed Portabella Mushroom, Waygu Beef Carpaccio, Grilled Octopus, PEI Mussels Provencal and much more including daily specials.

I had the great pleasure of trying several of these and other signature dishes at a recent Media event.

The preset menu was divided into sections: Under “Let’s Begin”, we sampled the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio and the Meatballs Al Forno.

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio – fried caper aioli, baby greens, grissini, parmigiano-reggiano

Every well thought out component came together to create a harmonious dish. The Wagyu beef just melts in your mouth and the fried caper aioli provides an added layer of umami. By the way, in case you didn’t know what grissini was when you were reading my description up above, do not fret; I didn’t either, so I looked it up and here’s what it is: breadsticks, lol! Thin crispy Italian breadsticks.

Meatballs Al Forno – made with bison & pork, ricotta salata, garden basil and San Marzano sauce

It wasn’t but a few months ago that I tried bison for the first time on one of our tours in Sanford where I had the most delicious bison burger at The Smiling Bison. So I was super excited to see this meatball at The Venu contained bison in their mixture. The meatballs were delicious there’s no doubt about that, although I don’t know that I could really detect the bison.

Moving on to the next section, under “Greens” we got to try their Pear & Cream and House Crafted Pasta.

Pear & Cream – Burrata, poached pear, baby greens, balsamic of Modena

 

This whimsical salad was filled with my all time favorite cheeses, the burrata. I swear, if you’re anything like me, once you try burrata, it’s hard to go back to regular ol’ mozzarella. It is the king of all mozzarellas in my humble opinion. Anyway, I must say this dish was creatively assembled; never before had I seen poached pear served with burrata. Each of the items on the dish was treated with finesse while the balsamic drizzle brought them all together harmoniously.

Wild Boar Pappardelle – broad pasta, 14 hour shoulder, Italian feta, citrus aromas

 

My favorite dish of the evening was this wild boar pappardelle. From the moment it was placed in front of me, the waft of orange zest made it’s way up the olfactory, tingling and tantalizing my tastebuds beckoning me to consume my first bite. O-M-G! The boar was so tender and flavorful and the pappardelle was cooked to perfection. The saltiness from the feta was a unique and welcome addition as well. You must try this dish.

Innovative and tasty cocktails were served thoughout the night…

 

Under the “Paramount” section, we were given the Seared Sea Scallops and Chicken Francaise to try.

Seared Sea Scallops – summer carrot puree, fried artichokes, white wine reduction

 

Did you know that summer carrots are sweeter than fall carrots? Neither did I. I learned this fun little fact from Chef Kelley when he introduced the dish. The sweet carrot puree was a terrific choice to accompany the perfectly cooked scallops.

Chicken Francaise – fried artichoke hearts, capers, tomatoes, linguine, lemon butter

 

This dish was rich and contained all of the key components of a classic Chicken Francaise plus some original nuances such as the fried artichoke hearts, adding yet another flavorful dimension.

“To Finish” we had the tiramisu and a House Crafted Cookie Plate

Tiramisu – sweetened mascarpone, dark rum, espresso, chantilly cream, dark cocoa
House Crafted Cookie Plate – Palazolla family recipes

 

The tiramisu served at The Venu was one of the most delicious tiramisu’s that I have ever had. Great job guys!

What a night, I tell ya. I hope I have given you some ideas on what you would like to try when you visit. When you do go, be sure to tell Chef Kelley that your friend Denise from Savor Our City sent ya.

The Venu is located at 8794 West Boynton Beach Blvd. Boynton Beach, FL 33472  561.200.0222

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Tanzy Unveils Fresh New Menu w/ Delicious New Brunch, Lunch, Dinner & Dessert Items

Posted By : denise/ 259

Hello Foodie Friends,

I was recently invited to dine at Tanzy’s, located inside the iPic Theaters in Mizner Park, to check out their new weekend brunch offerings. I’ve enjoyed a meal or two at Tanzy’s before but this was my first time experiencing their brunch. It was a Saturday (and who doesn’t like the idea of a leisurely Saturday brunch catching up with good friends?!?) and I was totally stoked to be able to bring my girlfriend who I hadn’t seen in a super long time to join me for this brunch tasting. With so many wonderful dining choices available in Mizner Park, you might forget that Tanzy is there unless of course, you are going inside the iPic Theaters to catch a movie. While Tanzy is a great dining option for your pre or post-movie experience, I am here to set the record straight that Tanzy should be on the top of your list for a wonderful meal to be enjoyed whether your plans include a movie or not. Case in point: the epic weekend brunch, happy hour bar bites, lunch and of course, dinner.

Tanzy’s artisanal Italian cuisine focuses on garden-fresh modern Italian flavors in an elegant, yet relaxed social environment where friends, family and colleagues can gather to enjoy good conversation, good food & creative cocktails. Tanzy’s new menu features fresh new classics alongside time-tested favorites by award-winning Chef and Chief Operating Officer of iPic Entertainment. Diners will delight in inspiring flavors where seasonal ingredients are the star in every dish, artfully prepared by melding contemporary techniques with classic Italian influences; the resulting flavor profiles are modern and unique. Master Bartender and Advanced Sommelier Adam Seger crafts an unparalleled beverage program with local beers, an expertly curated wine list and stunning farm-to-glass handcrafted cocktails.

We started off with a Bloody Mary and a Peach Bellini. Then our server Julia surprised us with this beauty. An Italian Ice Mimosa made with liquid nitrogen. Check out the baby spoon that came with it, so cute! Can you say “Wow” factor?!?

So we were off to a good start. Julia explained the menu to us and it was difficult I must say to choose because so many items caught my eye. The bread basket contained an assortment of baked items which offered a good variety, so we chose that. OMG, without exaggeration, my friend and I ate one bite of the banana nut muffin and our eyes truly bugged out. It was without a doubt the best banana nut muffin we both had ever eaten. Man, I am salivating just a little right now as I recall how scrumptious it was, lol!

Another really really fantastic item was the candied bacon. It had a slight amount of heat and the perfect amount of sweetness. Loved it! I have to give Tanzy kudos for this because try as I have, I cannot seem to perfect the art of making candied bacon.

The infamously decadent French Toast, pictured below on the left, lived up to its title.  It was made from thick sliced brioche bread stuffed with whipped mascarpone and assorted fresh berries. It reminded me a little of the one they make at Tucker Dukes which I just adore, but better, in my humble opinion. We ordered the eggs benedict, which came with our choice of crispy prosciutto, spinach or smoked salmon. We chose the salmon. The rich velvety Hollandaise sauce covered the English muffin halves like a warm comforting blankie. Yum!

Next up was the burrata & San Daniele prosciutto which came with a compressed melon, arugula and adorned with beautiful fennel flowers. It was almost too pretty to eat (almost, haha)! The spinach-ricotta gnudi was calling out to us from an early glance at the menu, so we heeded the call and gave in. Oh my, this was so worth having to do extra laps and burpees the next day!

Well, we didn’t quite make it to the dessert tower, but there’s always the next time.

I encourage you to check out their new lunch and dinner menus on their website and make your plans to visit there at your earliest chance. You won’t be disappointed, I can pretty much say this with 100% confidence.

Below is a sample of some of the new menu items which include fresh pastas, mains and antipasti to share:

  • Beet Agnolotti mascarpone-potato filling, poppy seed, black winter truffle, parmesan ($28)
  • Spinach-Ricotta Gnudi roasted mushrooms, basil pesto, gorgonzola cream, grana padano ($24)
  • Yellowtail Crudo passionfruit splash, crispy shallot, radish, micro cilantro, grapefruit, herb oil ($16)
  • Steamed Mussels shallots, garlic, pernod cream sauce, tarragon, grilled focaccia ($16)
  • Black Grouper Puttanesca San Marzano puttanesca sauce, basil, Kalamata olives, capers, orzo, sautéed spinach ($25)
  • Crab Stuffed Whole Lobster crab-lobster stuffing, seasonal vegetables, lemon-garlic butter (MKT)
  • Truffled Polenta parmesan cream, chives, truffle oil ($8)

Pair Chef Yard’s new dishes with inspired beverages by celebrated mixologist Adam Seger. New additions include:

  • Famous Mojitos Italiano – mint, Italian herbs from our herb garden, exotic citrus in a range of flavors, as single servings or punch bowls to share ($8-80)
  • Spiked Italian Ice think boozy liquid nitrogen gelato in limon, passion-ginger, strawberry-mojito, blood orange-pomegranate, chocolate-espresso-maldon ($15) and spirit-free ($10)
  • The Kiss vodka-spiked lemon berry Arnold Palmer ($12 glass/36 bottle/65 punch bowl)
  • Gin Gin Mule New Amsterdam gin, homemade ginger beer, apple salsa ($12); luxe with Bombay Sapphire ($15)
  • Spice and Ice ancho-infused tequila, mango, ginger, habanero, 7-spice ($15)

And of course, no trip to Tanzy would be complete without elegantly crafted desserts by Executive Pastry Chef James Rosselle. Try these sweet new show-stopping cakes:

  • Raspberry Infiniti Cake raspberry red velvet cake, raspberry buttercream, farmers market raspberries, raspberry sauce, whipped cream ($12)
  • Concord Cake chocolate mousse, chocolate meringue, chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, chocolate sauce, whipped cream ($12)
  • Warm Olive Oil Cake apricot glaze, blood orange cream, vanilla scented citrus segments, honeycomb ($12)

 

Enjoy Tanzy’s new menu Mon. – Thurs. 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sat./Sun. Brunch 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

 

Tanzy Boca Mizner Park: 301 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL. (561) 922-6699

 Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

 

 

The Locale Is The New Locals Hot Spot in Boca Raton

Posted By : denise/ 258

 

 

Dear Foodie Friends,

For those of you who have been around Boca Raton for the past 10 years, you might say that there has been quite the revolving door when it comes to the dining scene. Take the south west corner of Federal Highway & SE Mizner Blvd. in Downtown Boca for instance. How many of you remember Oceans 11, Saba Sushi, Ovenella and the short-lived The Little Chalet? Who remembers anything before? Let me know by commenting at the bottom of the post. I took you back as far as I could recall, since first coming to the area and immersing myself into the food scene here in Boca.

The Little Chalet was a beautiful special-occasion venue that is wildly popular in Brazil, but for whatever reason, just didn’t catch on here in the company’s first US location. It’s a shame; they spent a small fortune I’m sure creating a lovely romantic ambiance. But, beautiful decor alone doesn’t pay the bills so the owners decided early on to cut their loss and close and re-open with an entirely new hip & trendy concept.

Created by Ricky Marcellini, owner of The Little Chalet who explained that after noting a change in the area’s demographics, they saw an opportunity to introduce South Floridians to a breezy, Brazilian nightlife-inspired restaurant and lounge for everyday dining. To facilitate a more communal and casual quality guest experience, he opened the space to an airier interior, expanding seating and adding a second bar to the outdoor patio.

“We have watched East Boca grow and change over the years, and we wanted to evolve our restaurant to match the tastes and lifestyles in the area, which is why we closed our doors as The Little Chalet and have reopened as The Locale,” explains Ricky. “Our culinary team is as skilled as ever, and we are excited to offer a more robust and unique beverage program to complement the quality dishes that come out of our kitchen.”

The hip and trendy The Locale Cocina & Bar presents guests with a Latin-inspired menu (South American influences including Brazil & Equador) and I would say Italian as well and is fast becoming the gathering spot in Downtown Boca for local friends and business associates.  I’m sure it also helps to offer Happy Hour every day from 4 – 7pm and again from 9pm til closing. What’s more, is that guests can enjoy happy hour anywhere in the restaurant, not just the bar Sun – Thur (and at the bar only on Fri & Sat nights). There’s a reduced price food menu and all drinks are 1/2 off.

I was invited by The Locale’s PR firm to attend a media dine. They hosted a lovely event which several of my blogger friends attended, however, I was unable to attend at the time due to a lingering cold. I was thrilled to be invited back to experience the restaurant once I was well. On this dine, we started out a couple of their popular cocktails; I chose the Lychee Martini and my husband chose the Caipirinha, Brazil’s National cocktail. Lychees are my newest exotic fruit obsession, by the way.

The Locale’s Chef Joshua Miranda and team take pride in creatively melding exotic flavors with familiar applications in order to deploy flavorful creations to be shared. Locale’s Manager Carlos took the liberty of sending out a variety of dishes for us to try: a trio of appetizers consisting of pork & beef meatballs, mushroom crostini (called tostada on the menu) and tuna tartare were presented first. They were all delicious, but the star for me was the tuna tartare. The su vide preparation of the egg yolk was something that a true die hard foodie like myself would appreciate.

Carlos next sent out the Locale pizza which had fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, arugula and shaved Parmesan. Tip: took home leftovers and heated the pizza up and cracked a fresh egg on top to make a delicious breakfast pizza!

The Picarina steak had a beautiful sear on it and was seasoned and cooked perfectly and served with yuca fries.

There was a generous portion of shrimp in the Fettucini Alfredo dish. Also made a nice shrimp scampi crostini the next day with these leftovers!

The Locale boasts Boca’s only Mixology Bar. (I see a Savor Our City Mixology Class taking place there in the future)– The Locale provides libation seekers with two bars and ample seating. Inside, chocolate bitters, candied ginger and acai liqueur are at the ready behind the bar, shaken up into one-of-a-kind drinks that are as eye-catching as they are delicious. Moscow Mule drinkers can choose from four iterations of the copper-mugged classic, including a daily rotating option, in addition to cocktails like the Brazilian Rum Runner  Fig Old Fashioned, Lychee Martini and Jalapeño Aquafaba. At the newly-expanded patio, The Locale’s outdoor bar is happy to shake up something on the more traditional side in addition to pouring South Florida’s coldest brew at an impressive 28°F from their special imported below-freezing brewery tap. With over 35 beers from 6 countries, the perfect sip is always within reach.

Other signature dishes on the menu that look really interesting which I will have to go back for are: Beef Empanada with shredded short ribs and tomato jam; Croqueta fried dough filled with ham and cheese; and Shrimp Ajillo garlic shrimp served with white rice and broccoli bring a taste of South America to the table. Vegetarians and carnivores alike will swoon over The Locale’s meat-free Portobello Burger with tamarind glaze, manchego, crispy kale, aioli on a brioche bun; and flavorful signature entrées abound, with highlights including Short Rib over manchego polenta; Faroe Island Salmon with wild rice, asparagus, yogurt crema; and Bucatini with yellow chili sauce, onions and tomatoes and choice of sautéed filet or chicken.

 

The Locale’s Happy Hour is served every day from 4-7p.m. and 9p.m.-close, where guests can enjoy even more brews, beats and bespoke cocktails from anywhere in the restaurant.

The Locale is located at 499 S Federal Hwy, Boca Raton, FL 33432, They are open for dinner Sun. – Thurs. 4 – 11p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 4p.m. – 1 a.m. and brunch on Sundays fro 10:30am – 2pm. For more information or to make a reservation, call (561) 325-8000 or visit www.localeboca.com.

Until we eat (and drink) again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

 

 

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Bar, Pembroke Pines, FL

Posted By : denise/ 229

Written by Dawn Bryan

Recently, Savor Our City was invited to attend the opening of the new Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Bar in Pembroke Pines, FL, a fantastic place to visit for any occasion. What a unique concept. Not only are their signature wine pairings reason enough to visit, but their culinary selections, all made in their scratch kitchen, are delivered to perfection to compliment one’s wine pairing.  Each recommendation is made by their highly trained Chef and house staff along with a professionally trained management team.

Truly a unique culinary and wine tasting experience.

The Cooper’s Hawk concept includes four different components: an upscale casual dining restaurant, full-service bar, private barrel-aging room, and Napa-style tasting room with a great adjoining retail store. All under one roof.

Upon arrival, we were directed to the large Napa-tasting room which was quite impressive. For a set fee or with the wine membership they offer, you can sample their latest reserved and private label wine selections. The tasting room is a great way to learn about the wines and you actually feel like you are in a true winery tasting room.

Then came the real fun part…sampling all of Cooper Hawk’s favorites on the menu which included 9 courses, each selected with wine pairings all recommended by their head Sommelier, Emily Wines…She is amazing!

Whether you’re an avid wine enthusiast or a novice, Cooper Hawk’s has make it easy for their quests to select the perfect pairings; each food item is offered with a wine pairing suggestion labeled on the menu by bin number, as suggested by the winemaker.

My personal culinary favorites were the Candied Bacon & Artisan Cheeses, delicious award-winning Asian Pork Belly Tostadas, Fresh Pan Roasted Barramundi with Thai Lemongrass Sauce and my favorite of all….Short Rib Risotto with White Truffle Oil…OMG!!!  Just to die for… And then of course to top it all off, the Cooper Hawk’s Chocolate Cake.

Their menu is extensive, so more reasons to go back time after time to experience it all. They also offer a Life Balance menu as well as a Gluten Free menu.

At the end of this memorable dining experience, along with making new friends over sensational food and wine pairings, I had left feeling VERY content and probably a few pounds heavier as well… It was so worth it.

I highly recommend Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant & Bar Pembroke Pines any time and for any occasion.

 

Cooper’s Hawk Pembroke Pines

10310 Pines Boulevard

Pembroke Pines, Fl 33026

954-582-9463

CHWINERY.COM

Square One, SQ1 for Short

Posted By : denise/ 304

Hello Foodie Friends,

Today’s Boca Food Find is Square One or SQ1 for short. Previously home to Brewzzi’s Restaurant, Square One’s central location on Glades Road, just west of 95 in the Glades Plaza underwent a $1 million renovation buildout of the over-6,000-square-foot space to create a stunning upscale-casual dining experience suitable for a variety of dining occasions.

SQ1’s co-founders and best friends Eric Clark and Chef Jon Greening bring more than 30 years of combined industry expertise to the restaurant, utilizing their combined knowledge to provide a uniquely guest-driven dining experience. The restaurant came to fruition during a fateful meeting between the two, realizing they would literally be starting at “square one” to turn their dream of opening a unique yet approachable restaurant into a reality.  “After working in and opening restaurants from Washington, D.C., to the Pacific Northwest, Jon and I are excited to refresh the Boca executive dining scene while offering incredible value to all of our guests,” says owner Eric Clark. “We want Square One to be a restaurant that people visit multiple times per week for lunch, dinner, happy hour or brunch – we pride ourselves on delivering an exceptional experience across the board.”

With Chef Jon at the helm of Square One’s kitchen, the restaurant rotates their culinary offerings seasonally featuring locally-sourced ingredients that highlight diverse flavor combinations at a friendly price point. The diverse menu is also complemented by an expert-curated wine list and mixology program. Offerings range from shared plates to brick oven pizza fired to order, to fresh fish and dry aged steaks, and a rotating menu of weekly lunch specials. Chef Jon’s menu items are chosen for flavor prominence, locally-available ingredients and approachability, while the reimagined restaurant space – brought to life by Eric’s vision – presents an open and inviting setting complemented by similarly cheerful staff.

I was recently invited to dine at SQ1 by the restaurant’s PR firm. We had a lovely dining experience which started off with some cool cocktails followed by the Brick Oven Brussels Sprouts that Eric himself recommended. They did not disappoint. I have to say that ever since Brussels became an “in” thing, I am amazed at how much I am digging them. What I thought was unique about SQ1’s version is their sweet n sour glaze and the use of cashews and cilantro. It also comes with pancetta which I love, but if you do not eat meat, I’m sure they will leave them out if you request it.

For our entrees, we tried the Red Wine Braised Short Rib served with mashed Yukon Gold Potato, Baby Carrots, English Peas and Veau Jus. It was so tender and juicy. To me, it was elevated comfort food that hugged me from the inside with each new bite! The other entree was the Slow Braised Beef Ragu served on house-made pappardelle with caramelized fennel, cherry tomato confit, ricotta and basil. The flavors were terrific, although the pasta was a little too al dente for my personal preference. For dessert, we had a tough decision since there were several great choices. We were extremely pleased with our selection of the classic creme brule.

  An indoor-outdoor bar provides ample space for drinking, dining and working – outfitted with electrical outlets, USB ports and a WiFi booster to facilitate connectivity. Two brick ovens flank the main kitchen, which are responsible for the flavorful char on every pizza ordered, and have been burning 24 hours a day since the building’s opening in 1997. Executives, families and networking groups will find a number of options to facilitate private dining, meetings or celebrations from a central open elevated dining room to a completely-enclosed glass room outfitted with technical capabilities, custom wood conference table and chic velvet seating.

Complementing the culinary menus is an expertly-curated wine list features wines by the bottle and by the glass at various price points, as well as a roster of craft beers and inspired mixology program.

 

Square One has additionally partnered with Vero Bottled Water Purification Systems

throughout the restaurant, which uses reverse osmosis filtration for a superior sip while contributing directly to the Whole World Water Charity in support of international clean waters.

Now open for lunch, dinner, happy hour and Sunday brunch, Square One is located in Glades Plaza at 2222 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431. Hours are Mon. – Thurs. 11:30a.m. – 10p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 11:30a.m. – 11p.m.; Sun. 11a.m. – 10p.m.

For more information or to make a reservation, call 561-923-9176 or visit www.squareonerestaurants.com.

Until we eat again,

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise